Spokane Journal of Business

Fresh Soul opens in East Central neighborhood

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The Spokane Eastside Reunion Association is set to debut Fresh Soul, its long-planned Southern-style restaurant and youth-employment program, with an opening date scheduled for today, July 19.

SERA founder Michael C. Brown says the nonprofit purchased the former Flipper’s Ice Cream building at 3029 E. Fifth from Spokane business owner John Tormino in 2015.

Brown says since that time the 1,500-square-foot space has been remodeled with help from 20 local sponsors, including Numerica Credit Union, Bernardo|Wills Architects PC, and Lowes Home Improvement, which have contributed labor or materials to the project.

“We started with basically a shell, and thanks to help from local sponsors and a grant from the city of Spokane, we’ve been able to completely remodel it,” he says.

Brown says the restaurant initially will employ three local youths ages 14 to 18, who will participate in a restaurant job training program to help them learn work ethic and develop skills for future employment.

“Employees will be youth from the community participating in 20-week internship programs, once one group is done, a new one will rotate in,” he says.

Brown says the restaurant will be open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and will feature southern style cooking, including a signature seafood gumbo dish.

LeAnn Bjerken
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Reporter LeAnn Bjerken covers health care at the Journal of Business. A Minnesota native and cat lover, she enjoys beachside vacations and writing poetry. LeAnn has worked for the Journal since 2015.

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